How to save money while scoffing


Beat the Winter blues and save money this month at some great Midlands restaurants with these January offers.

Gastrocard has a January sale offer, giving you access to hundreds of restaurant discounts for £20 (instead of £30) for a year’s membership.

Enjoy three courses for the price of two at The Cross in Kenilworth. This lunchtime offer is available from Monday to Friday.

Veggie restaurant 1847 in Birmingham is offering a whopping 50% off food throughout January. You have to book online and quote “food50”.

Henley in Arden’s Butchers Social is running a BOGOF on pizzas Monday to Friday plus 25% off food.

 In Coventry Millsy’s has an Early Bird offer from 3pm until 7pm every Monday to Saturday, with two main courses up to £11.

Enjoy a brewed ale for just 99p when ordering any dish from the main menu at Fizzy Moon
Brewhouse in Leamington Spa.

Whats on in December

Sprinkled with glitter and wrapped in tinsel the December Events page  is now bursting with tastings and festive fairs to enjoy.


Start the month by raising a glass of Ruinart champagne at the gourmet dinner held at The Cross in Kenilworth.

Wrap up warm and sip mulled wine at a host of festive fairs at the new Winter Social in Birmingham

Ragley Hall by Candlelight, Festive Food Fair at Compton Verney or Festive Fayre at Stoneleigh Park.

Over in Coventry, street food fans should head over to the Festive Dining Club at Coventry Cathedral and indulge their sweet tooth at the Winter Chocolate Festival.

As a break from all of the Chrsitmas re-runs on TV head over to the Birmingham Rep theatre for a different dining experience courtesy of Faulty Towers and if you can squeeze in any more booze then a beer tasting and food matching at Purecraft Bar & Kitchen might be just the thing.

Number 11 opens in Kenilworth

Apart from the deli boards at The Almanac and cocktails at The Kenilworth, I’m always at a bit of a loss at where to go to eat and drink in Kenilworth.

The Cross is spectacular, but not an everyday venue, so I’m hoping that the opening of Number 11 Restaurant may help bridge the gap between snacks and full blow-out Michelin star meals.

Number 11 Restaurant Kenilworth montage

The former Beef restaurant on Warwick Road has been given a makeover by the new co-owner chef Amir Dilba. Amir was born in Leamington Spa and worked with the brigade at Mallory Court before becoming Head Chef at Beef. Last year the opportunity  to buy Beef from Andreas Antona came up, so Amir and restaurant manager Shireen Sabedien siezed the chance to open their own restaurant.

Amir Diba Number 11 Restaurant Kenilworth

Number 11 will open for brunch, lunch and dinner from Monday to Saturday.  Diners can expect a relaxed, friendly, neighbourhood restaurant serving brunch classics such as eggs Benedict and more restaurant style dishes such as scallops, black pudding, pancetta and pea purée. Burgers with all the trimmings start at £9.50 with beef cuts at £14.50 and an early bird midweek supper of two courses for £15.95.

Number 11 Restaurant opens this weekend and I wish Amir and Shireen the best of luck with this new restaurant in Kenilworth.

My Top 5 Summer Lunches

For their great quality food, value for money and pretty gardens, here are my top five recommendations for summer lunches – The Bluebell in Henley in Arden, Anderson’s at The Bulls Head, Brum Yum Yum, Warwick Street Kitchen and The Cross in Kenilworth.


1 – For value for money, The Bluebell in Henley in Arden tops the list for offering two courses of two rosette rated food for £10 in their Feast Lunch Club. From Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 2.30pm, the daily changing menu has so far included treats such as sweetcorn and basil velouté, salt beef hash and banana pavlova.

Andersons dining garden

2 – Just a bit further down the road, Anderson’s at The Bulls Head in Wootton Wawen has unveiled their new dining garden. If you’re going to eat al fresco you want to enjoy your surroundings, so check out the extension to the main restaurant, where diners can order off the a la carte menu featuring their popular steaks and grills.

Brum Yum Yum Lunchmarket

3 – You’ve got until 1 August to try Brum Yum Yum Lunchmarket. Running through the summer into August, the city centre square bursts into life with the delicious aromas of street food, there’s also a beer market and live music if you don’t have to go back to the office!

Warwick Street Kitchen

4 – Finding a good readymade picnic hamper is as rare as hen’s teeth. I find that either you are overcharged for the amount of food contained, or you have a range of items that you wouldn’t have chosen yourself. So hats off to Warwick Street Kitchen in Leamington Spa. Their £20 picnic for two is packed with charcuterie, hummus, salad, anti pasti, bread and flapjack bites. You can even borrow a basket and blanket to take with you to nearby Jephson Gardens.

The Cross dessert

5 – The Cross in Kenilworth has launched a new garden menu, featuring classics such as burgers and fish and chips which are cooked and eaten in (you guessed it) their garden! If you ‘re not so lucky with the weather, heading indoors to sample Adam Bennett’s cooking isn’t a hardship with dishes such as corn fed poussin and strawberry sundae on the fixed price lunch menu.

The Independent reviews The Cross in Kenilworth

In case you missed it over the weekend, here is the link to Tracy McCleod’s review of The Cross–the-grand-dowager-has-had-an-expert-facelift-8985277.html

The Cross Kenilworth The Independent

Top 5 Alfresco dining

From countryside gastro pubs to urban patio gardens, there are some gorgeous places for alfresco eating in Warwickshire when the sun is out. Here are five of my favourites.

The Baraset Barn, Alveston, near Stratford upon Avon

From the tempting seafood platter of crevettes, beetroot cured and oak smoked salmon, roll mops, chillied tiger prawns and sour dough toast to the hearty portion of Duck leg confit, tomato, chorizo and white bean cassoulet, The Baraset Barn is a country pub with great food. Ideal  for parties and groups, the spacious outdoor dining area is always popular.

Cock Inn, Wishaw

Landscaped decking and views over stunning countryside, make the Cock Inn the 13th hole for the nearby Belfry Golf Course. The Cock has a traditional exterior with a comfortable, contemporary interior. From a crispy Duck pizza to Indian spiced salmon fillet the menu uses quality ingredients with a dash of imagination.

The Cross, Kenilworth

The Cross has an open, paved patio area for alfresco dining, where the very reasonable Prix Fixe menu of three courses for £16 and bottle of Moet and Chandon for £9.95 can be enjoyed. The a la carte menu includes maple glazed pork fillet and truffled wild mushroom and spinach tart plus the ubiquitous triple cooked chubby chips.

 The Grand Union, Leamington Spa
A stylish and lively bar in the heart of Leamington Spa, The Grand Union serves contemporary cuisine on the banks of the Grand Union canal. Spoil yourself with the grilled halloumi, salt cod croquettes and sherry and orange chicken tapas on the roof terrace or in the restaurant garden.

 Saxon Mill, Warwick

Views over the river and Guys Cliffe give the Saxon Mill its picturesque setting and a popular place to start or finish a  long stroll. There is a good variety of salads, pizza and pasta options, as well as the grill and rotisserie dishes including Pork Milanese, sage and lemon breadcrumbs with rocket, red onion and baby potatoes or the Blackened cod fillet with egg noodles, pak choi and chilli salsa.